Shepherd the Flock
And now, a word to you elders of the church. I, too, am an elder, with my own eyes I saw Christ dying on the cross; and I, too, will share his glory and his honor when he returns. Fellow elders, this is my plea to you: Feed the flock of God; care for it willingly, not grudgingly; not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve the Lord. Don't be tyrants, but lead them by your good example, and when the Head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (TLB)
Carrie Knight Kitzmiller, from Texas, was married to an alcoholic who was abusive. Many days she dreaded what might happen when she arrived home from work. During the hardest nights, Carrie would lie awake worrying that he might hurt her while she slept. The police and the courts got involved, and ultimately the marriage ended.
Carrie felt ashamed and discouraged about her marriage and the course of events. She was surprised to find certain friends and family members undependable. It seemed that they were ashamed too. Carrie felt alone - except for God. She prayed continually and could sense that God was guiding her.
Then two older members of her church helped her understand more clearly God's all-encompassing love for her. She had expected to be berated and rejected, but instead they surprised her with grace. They met her with keen understanding, guidance, and compassion that Carrie had not experienced before.
Now, many years later, Carrie rejoices as she remembers this man and woman and how God used them to shepherd her through a very difficult time. Carrie's hope is that she may honor God by being the same kind of helper to others.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, thank you for never leaving us. Please guide us to those who need our understanding and compassion, in Jesus' name. Amen.